WikiLeaks advisory board 'pretty clearly window-dressing'
- From: The Australian
- December 09, 2010
PHILLIP Adams is on the advisory board of Julian Assange's explosive website WikiLeaks, but the radio broadcaster and columnist has never been asked for his advice and he has never met the whistleblower.
The radio broadcaster and columnist said yesterday he suspected that would also be the case with other members of the advisory board, including Noam Chomsky, although that had not prevented a right-wing blogger in the US saying members of the advisory board should be assassinated, along with Assange.
But Adams added his voice to a host of high-profile Australians who have condemned the Gillard government's handling of the issue. He said the government had handled it "stupidly", should offer Mr Assange every assistance, and would regret "playing poodle to Washington".
On how he came to be a member of the WikiLeaks advisory board, Adams told The Australian: "He asked me to go on it years ago, when it was just a vague idea and WikiLeaks sounded like the sort of thing one should support, so I agreed. But as I point out to people, he has never asked for advice. The advisory board was pretty clearly window dressing, so he went for people identified with progressive policies around the place (he got Chomsky signed up in the States, for example).
"Most of those, I think, are in the same position as me: they have not met him and they haven't been asked for advice either."
In June last year, WikiLeaks listed an advisory board comprising Mr Assange, Adams, Chinese dissidents Wang Dan, Xiao Qiang and Wang Youcai, Ben Laurie (a one-time programmer and internet security expert for Google), Thai anti-censorship activist CJ Hinke, Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang (a former representative of the Dalai Lama) and Brazillian social justice advocate Chico Whitaker.
In April, Mother Jones magazine revealed that several members of the "advisory board" knew nothing about it. Khamsitsang recalled getting a cryptic email from WikiLeaks a few years ago, but said he never agreed to be an adviser.
Mr Assange has defended himself by saying the board was "pretty informal".
Left-wing lobby group GetUp is polling supporters on launching "a campaign to demand the Australian government support Julian Assange, an Australian citizen".
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